To mark the occasion of November 7th —the annual faux-holiday for the Mass Effect series—BioWare Montreal has released several behind-the-scenes images that hint towards the development of Mass Effect 4. The photos, which surfaced online yesterday evening, provide our first look at some of the concept art and character models for the studio’s next chapter in the intergalactic universe.
Casey Hudson, director of the Mass Effect series, took to Twitter to reveal the long string of images.
“As we celebrate N7 day, we look back at the talented people who worked on the Mass Effect trilogy, and we remember our inspiration for some of the great pieces that have made Mass Effect so iconic. We celebrate the fans, for their support, and for their commitment to the original characters that we proudly decorate our studios with, and the new one’s we’ve added along the way.”
While the focus of the celebration is clearly a commemorative retrospect of the prestigious sci-fi franchise, there are several all-new photos that are captioned with phrases such as “new enemies to encounter” and “new worlds to explore,” thereby hinting towards an entirely new title. We understand that the Edmonton division of BioWare —which served as the primary studio for the original trilogy— will not return to develop the fourth iteration. Instead, BioWare Montreal has been giving the reins of the franchise, which suggests that Mass Effect 4 could focus on an entirely new group of space marines sans Commander Shepard.
Having designed the multiplayer component of Mass Effect 3, BioWare Montreal is undeniably a crucial sub-studio for the Canadian developer, and it’ll be fascinating to see how the team incorporate the intergalatic war that took place in the original trilogy into the next iteration. In terms of a release date, reports have also suggested that EA plan to slate the space-set adventure for 2014 or, potentially, the early stages of 2015.
With Mass Effect 4 all but confirmed, when do you think the game will be released? Additionally, which direction would you like to see BioWare take the franchise? Let us know in the comments section below.